Numerical model validation for mooring systems: Method and application for wave energy converters
Le Boulluec, M
Le Roux, D
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record. © 2014. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Mooring systems are key sub-systems of wave energy devices. The design of mooring systems is challenging because overdesign of the mooring system incurs a significant cost penalty, while underdesign may lead to a premature failure. Incorrect design could also reduce the power production. It is therefore important to develop mooring systems which are specific for wave energy applications. In particular, very compliant mooring systems which allow the system to be highly dynamic are being developed. The validation of numerical models with data from physical experiments would facilitate the development of appropriate mooring solutions. This paper presents tank test results for a scale model of the buoy and mooring used at the South West Mooring Test Facility (SWMTF), an offshore facility developed to conduct long-term sea trials for wave energy device moorings. The mooring system investigated is a compliant 3 leg catenary mooring system using Nylon ropes in the water column. Preliminary static, quasi-static, decay, regular and irregular wave tests were conducted on the 1:5 scale model, using the Ifremer basin in Brest. A corresponding numerical model was developed with a time-domain mooring modelling tool, inputting hydrodynamic data from a radiation/diffraction potential modelling program. After the calibration of several hydrodynamic parameters (added mass, damping and mean drift), the numerical model demonstrated good agreement with the experiment, providing an accurate prediction of the maximum mooring loads in irregular waves. However, results show large differences with the field test results, mainly because of the anchor position. The methods and procedures presented will allow the effective validation of numerical models to enable the development of appropriate mooring systems in wave energy applications.
The authors acknowledge the support of the MERiFIC (4122) project partners (Marine Energy in Far Peripheral and Island Communities, http://www.merific.eu) and of MARINET, a European Community Research Infrastructure Action under the FP7 Capacities Specific Programme (262552) (www.fp7-marinet.eu). The authors would like to acknowledge the support of the South West Regional Development Agency for its support through the PRIMaRE institution and the support towards the FabTest through the Regional Growth Fund. The authors are grateful for the valuable support of the Ifremer team: Emmanuel Mansuy, Aurélien Tancray, Christophe Maisondieu and Peter Davies. The authors also want to thank Orcina for their technical support.
Vol. 75, March 2015, pp. 869-887